Wednesday, June 27

How I Spent My APC Bonus

I recently received the Anugerah Perkhidmatan Cemerlang award in Kapit. Read about it here & here.
For the award, I received two certificates of recognition: 1 from the PPD & 1 from KPM.
Along with the certificates, I was given a cash bonus of RM1000.

Knowing that I'd get a cash bonus, many colleagues at school (as well as teachers from other schools) started making requests for treats & stuff. Obviously, I did not accept their requests. I just politely laughed. In my head, I decided to be the only one to decide who would receive what on my own terms.
And that was what I did.

Over the years, I have been very observant. I observed teachers who couldn't be bothered with anything other than 'doing time' in class. I observed teachers, who were very good at talking, constantly get away with pushing their work onto less socially gifted teachers. I observed teachers who would do a little bit of work & then lament to heaven & earth that he was being worked like an ox. I observed teachers who took credit for the work of others. I observed teachers who were lazy but demanded rewards just because they served longer years.

On the other hand, I had the privilege of working with teachers who gave their best to their students during lessons by well-thought colourful handouts & creative activities. I listened to teachers who were full of ideas & imagination on just about anything. I learned from teachers who had pure influence & control over the students. I was mentored by a leader who had a vision & did all he could to communicate that vision & push it through the ranks. I was naturally attracted to this group.

I have also consoled good teachers who wanted to quit because of poor leadership. I witnessed hard-working teachers cry because they did not receive the support & recognition they deserved.
It is usually the talented & dedicated teachers who leave the profession out of heartbreak. The lazy ones are very comfortable & wouldn't mind sitting there until retirement.
What are we doing to keep the good ones in school? Who will be left when the good ones leave? Think about it.

Sometimes worth is not measured in diplomas, degrees, masters or PhDs. That's why I refuse to take part in the paper race (a teacher's version of rat race).
Sometimes worth is not measured by PR skills. That's why I refuse to brown-nose. I only give credit where it is due & never take undue credit for myself. I tell it the way I see it. So be it if you don't like me & stunt my promotion. It reflects more on you than it does on me.
Worth cannot be easily measured. That is why I dislike simplistic statements like you are a good teacher because you appeared in the newspaper. Do you even know what I do at school? Then, find out before you dish out superficial statements & empty praise.

I have my own measure of worth & with half of my bonus. I bought simple gifts to appreciate the teachers & staff in my school who have really contributed to the welfare & development of the students. Most times, at their own expense.

One hardworking teacher who was unjustly treated, sobbed uncontrollably when I gave her a gift & said some kind words to her.
I believe she will rise even higher & work even harder after this. Is this not the kind of teachers we want?
What are you doing for them?
This silent minority are rarely appreciated. Even though it is supposed to be the principals job to protect & support the good teachers, I choose to take action. I cannot stand by & watch a leader's neglect suck out the souls of diligent teachers. I must support them with what I can lest they lose their passion to serve.
I believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. Although I could use the extra cash, I am more than willing to give part of what I have received to encourage others.

How have you spent your APC bonus? Is there a better investment than blessing those who will pay dividends by giving even more to the students?

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